Some Of These SUVs Seems To Have Been Solely Designed With Safety in Mind

Safety is of paramount importance with the development of any new vehicle. Especially SUVs. Although rather big and sometimes grotesque, manufacturers had some severe issues with improving its safety. However, with the latest active and passive safety technology advancements, the latest crop of new SUV’s are among the safest vehicles on the road. We compiled a list of ten most popular SUVs on our roads, and I present to you their safety ratings and features.

2019 Honda Ridgeline

2019 Honda Ridgeline
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Honda Rideline 40000 18 25 5-Star 5-Star 5-Star 5-Star

Ok, I start with something that isn’t an SUV, but a truck. Well, sort of a truck. The Honda Ridgeline reached this list only because it is based on top of a unibody architecture regardless of its pickup form. With its close links with the Pilot which is, coincidentally, the next entry on our list, the Ridgeline has the most advanced active safety features, including:

  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Tire Fill Assist and Location and Pressure Indicators
  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Collision Mitigation Braking SystemTM (CMBSTM)* (Honda Sensing® feature)
  • Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM)* (Honda Sensing® feature)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)* (Honda Sensing® feature)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)* (Honda Sensing® feature)

Accompanying such a comprehensive suite of active safety technologies, Honda constructed an advanced architecture that by itself forms a formidable safety cocoon around the driver and passengers. Called Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, the Honda Pilot has ultra-high-strength hot-stamped steel, aluminum, and magnesium supports in its structure dramatically increased rigidity and safety. After all, Honda engineered a longer front overhang. Also part of its efforts to improve safety on the Ridgeline. All of this has led it to ace safety tests. The 2019 Honda Ridgeline is the only pickup with 5-Star NHTSA Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating (when equipped with Honda Sensing).

Read our full review on the 2019 Honda Ridgeline

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Honda Pilot
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Honda Pilot 35500 19 27 4-Star 5-Star 5-Star 5-Star

While the Ridgeline offers Honda sensing safety technology as standard in its high-end versions, the recently redesigned 2019 Honda Pilot includes all the Honda Sensing technologies as standard.

Apart from that, the available safety technology includes:

  • blind spot information system (BSI, not standard on EX, EX-L and Touring)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (standard on Touring, Elite, EX, and EX-L)
    Expectedly, Honda integrated a wide array of passive safety technologies, including the high-end airbags and full supports for children such as:
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)
  • Lower Anchors (2nd-Row All, 3rd-Row Passenger-Side),
  • Tether Anchors (2nd-Row All, 3rd-Row All)

No wonder the Pilot aced safety tests from NTHSA and earned IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Read our full review on the 2019 Honda Pilot

2019 GMC Terrain

2019 GMC Terrain
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 GMC Terrain 32000 26 30 5-Star 5-Star 4-Star 5-Star

The smallest GMC SUV - the Terrain - has been designed to offer plenty of comfort and refinement in the compact SUV segment. While it is the least expensive of all GMC SUVs, the Terrain actually does not provide a multitude of active safety features as standard. In short, its entry-level SL trim does not offer specific safety tech even as an option. I am thinking about the:

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Automatic Parking Assist
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning

At least it is available, or standard with the upper trim levels such as the SLE and the Denali.

While the NHTSA gave the 2019 GMC Terrain the best possible marks in front and side crashes, the IIHS criticized its headlights and marked it as a Poor - the worst score possible. However, the IIHS awarded the 2019 GMC Terrain with the highest rating of Good in six crash test categories.

While we are waiting for the 2020 GMC Terrain, I can tell you, in good faith, that it will probably receive the same marks as the 2019 GMC Terrain.

Read our full review on the 2019 GMC Terrain

2019 GMC Acadia

2019 GMC Acadia
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 GMC Acadia 38500 21 25 5-Star 5-Star 4-Star 5-Star

Redesigned in 2019, the 2020 GMC Acadia does come with an all-new look, several new smart technologies, and a redesigned transmission. Plus, it is available with an all-new 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine. With the advanced and comprehensive safety features it inherited from the 2019 Acadia, the 2020 GMC Acadia features a multitude of safety options including:

  • Front Pedestrian Braking
  • Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking (standard on SLT-2 and Denali)
  • Forward Automatic Braking (available on Denali)
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • IntelliBeam automatic headlamp high-beam control
  • Surround Vision camera system
  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Front and Rear Parking Assist.

As for the new 2020 Acadia, GMC included the new Head-up Display which should further improve the safety.

While explicitly designed to reduce overall weight over the predecessor, the GMC Acadia architecture offers fantastic crash performance. Thanks to outward folding of the front rails during a crash and a full suite of passive safety features, the 2019 GMC Acadia received good IIHS Safety Ratings and four-star NHTSA Safety Overall Rating. I believe that the 2020 GMC Acadia will achieve much the same results.

Read our full review on the 2019 GMC Acadia

2019 Chevy Trax

2019 Chevy Trax
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Chevy Trax 22500 25 33 5-Star 5-Star 4-star 5-Star

Although it is just a minuscule, city SUV, the 2019 Chevrolet Trax offers an impressive set of safety technologies that includes:

  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Ten airbags

With such a wealth of safety features, the Trax is easily one of the safest small vehicles on the market. This is quite incredible because the subcompact SUV has been in production since 2013 with one major facelift in 2017. Nevertheless, its latest version - 2019 Chevy Trax - was awarded five stars by NHTSA and with a good IIHS rating.

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Trax.

2019 Chevy Traverse

2019 Chevy Traverse
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Chevy Traverse 46500 17 25 4-Star 5-Star 4-Star 5-Star

When you open the official 2019 Chevy Traverse website, GM is quick to point out its safety talents. Not only did it become the five stars awarded SUV by NTHSA, but it has 14 available safety features including:

  • Surround Vision
  • D-Optic LED headlamps (standard on High Country and Premier)
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Front Pedestrian Braking
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Low and High-Speed Forward Automatic Braking.
  • Teen Driver

The Traverse, being a large family SUV, has to be one of the safest vehicles on the road. With the new architecture and longer wheelbase, but less weight compared to its previous generation, the Traverse grew to be one of the most alluring prospects on the market.

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevy Traverse

2019 Chevy Equinox

2019 Chevy Equinox
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Chevy Equinox 25000 26 32 5-Star 5-Star 4-Star 5-Star

Chevrolet managed to lower the Equinox’s weight by 400 pounds compared to its previous generation. This did not hamper its safety credentials, as the new architecture features several precisely engineered structures created using high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel. Complementing such a smart structure, the 2019 Equinox features a full set of passive safety equipment and a mandatory set of active safety aids, including:

  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Surround Vision
  • Forward Collison Alert
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Rear Cross Trafic Alert

No wonder the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox managed to get a five-star overall safety rating by NHTSA. Chevy offered it with the additional safety features as well. Optionally, you can choose the Highway safety kit, HD Surround Vision, and Front Pedestrian Braking. Rather awesome.

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevy Equinox

2019 Buick Envision

2019 Buick Envision
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Buick Envision 39000 21 27 4-Star 5-Star 4-Star 5-Star

Although produced in China, the 2019 Buick Envision includes all important GM safety features that make it more than adequate for its compact family SUV forays. The NTHSA awarded it with five stars in its crash test, while the IIHS testing procedure marked its safety levels as adequate. Quite good!

In its top-notch form - 2019 Buick Envision Premium II AWD ($44,795) - the compact SUV has numerous active safety features such as:

  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Forward Automatic Braking
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Surround Vision

Obviously, you can see that some of these names are repeating throughout this article. It is an expected turn of events as GM shares much of its technology with all the SUVs they produce. And that’s a lot of SUVs.

Read our full review on the 2019 Buick Envision.

2019 Toyota RAV4

2019 Toyota RAV4
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Toyota RAV4 25500 23 30 4-Star 5-Star 4-Star 5-Star

As one of the newest entries on the market, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 brings the latest active safety tech features to the play. Toyota equipped it as standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This is one of the most comprehensive safety suits on the market, but more importantly, it is standard even for the entry $25,000 model.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 includes:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
  • Road Sign Assist (RSA)
  • Eight airbags
  • Full Toyota Star Safety System (Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology)

Now, you may ask, is there anything optional available?

There is:

  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Bird’s Eye View Camera,
  • Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS),
  • Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system

Now, this is the most extensive list of the safety gear that I have included in this article. It is for a good reason as the 2019 RAV4 wholly overshadowed all other compact SUV in almost any segment - safety included. I attribute much of it to the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy. Yes, it is a modular platform that enables Toyota to share the tech across its lineup of SUVs and cars, but it also gives the ability to create something astonishing - like the 2019 Toyota RAV4.

Read our full review on the 2019 Toyota RAV4

2019 Acura RDX

2019 Acura RDX
Make & Model Price Cty MPG HWY MPG Frontal Crash Side Barrier Rollover Side Crash
2019 Acura RDX 43500 21 27 5-Star 5-Star 4-Star 5-Star

Acura utilized high-strength steel for over 50 percent of the RDX’s construction. Not only did this allow the Japanese to cut 20 pounds of weight from the structure, but it also improved the rigidness and safety of the whole vehicle. The RDX, thus, was designed to achieve Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS and a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA. That is the best a vehicle can aim for. To achieve it, Acura created particularly powerful door ring structure that gives another layer of protection in case of a crash.

Added active safety features are equally impressive. They include the so-called AcuraWatch™ suite with:

  • Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW) - Integrated with CMBS™
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera
  • Surround View Camera System (Advance Package)
  • Parking Sensors
  • Blind Spot Information (BSI)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Monitor
  • Pedestrian Injury Mitigation

Obviously, some of these safety systems are far more advanced compared to any other vehicle on this list. Yet, the 2019 Acura RDX’s entry price is $37,600. At the other end, it will easily top $50,000.

Read our full review on the 2019 Acura RDX.

What is the Best 2019 SUV

2019 Acura RDX Exterior
- image 775683

This list may not give a definite answer to the question posed, but the 2019 Acura RDX may well be the best 2019 SUV. Of course, it is expensive, so I have to think about the finances here as well. In that case, fantastic 2019 Toyota RAV4 takes the cake.

What do you think?
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